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Joseph Thomas
Joseph Thomas

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Pusher Contest idea: 🚁Garbage Drones♻️

The year is 2020

Jeff Bezos acquires Los Angeles County waste management. All garbage trucks are replaced by drones, which are piloted by Amazon Mechanical Turks. You, a Turker, race against others to pick up the county's garbage.

🕹Game design

It's 5am LA time. You and your competitors start up your drones and fly across the city to pick up garbage. At the end of the day, whoever picked up the most garbage wins.

  • Each game is a series of 2-3 minute rounds, representing a full day.
  • Players navigate using their arrow keys.
  • A scoreboard displays how much garbage each player has picked up.

Base Game

Users visit the website and can opt to:

  • join an existing game. Games have a max number of players. When you join a game, you enter your username and pick an emoji avatar. (No persistent login at this point). Games have a max number of players. When you join an active game, you are an observer until the next round begins.
  • observe a game: A game can have any number of observers
  • start a new game


  • At the beginning of each round, you see the pickup points on the map and have a limited amount of time to select your starting point. You can change this until the game starts.


  • Observers and players can send "chat" messages that appear for a few seconds on everybody's GUI. Perhaps active players' chats appear as bubbles above their avatars.

Stretch Features

A lot of this is probably out of scope for the length of the contest, but would be fun to have:

Garbage types: Waste, Recycling, and Green garbage. When you start a new round, you pick a drone with different capabilities. Example:

  • Single-type drones can only pick up one kind of garbage, but they are the fastest.
  • All-purpose drones can pick up anything, but are slower.

Dropoff points:

  • Drones have different pickup capacities. When they are full, they can't pick up any more garbage. Various dropoff points are located around the city, and must be dropped off before the player gets the 'points' for these pickups. Garbage that hasn't been dropped off at the end of the day doesn't count.

Map View:

  • In the base game, the view of the map will be static. But, having a larger map would make play more interesting. There would be a minimap that showed your location and all pickup points, but you wouldn't know where your competitors were until they were in your view.


Frontend in React, using the Google Maps API for the base map.
Served with Zeit Now.
Client communication with, of course, Pusher
Backend: TBD!

Top comments (5)

kayis profile image

Cool idea!
I'm excited to see the network code for such a game :)

goodidea profile image
Joseph Thomas

Me too! 😬😁

peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank

This might be one of my favorite ideas so far. The overhead map view with multiple players sort of reminds me of Agar. Excited to see it come together!

goodidea profile image
Joseph Thomas

Oh no, now I don't think I'll get it done if I keep playing Agar!!

avalander profile image

It sounds very cool, can't wait to see it!